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Russian City Hosts 15th Annual International Balloon Meet

11. June 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

Each year in June, the Russian city of Velikie Luki hosts the International Balloon Meet, a hot air balloon competition featuring talented pilots from around the world. This year’s Meet began on June 5th and will challenge competitors, thrill judges, and wow spectators until Sunday, June 13th. 

Competitors in Velikie Luki vye for one of four awards: The Cup of Friendship, an honor earned by the highest scoring competitor; the Championship of Russia, a prize bestowed upon the highest scoring Russian competitor; the Cup of Velikie Luki, an award presented to the highest scoring competitor who has participated in the Meet at least once before; and the Cup of Princess Olga, an honor awarded to the highest scoring woman.

The Meet, held in Velikie Luki since 1996, typically draws between 30-40 hot air balloon teams. Last year’s competition featured 36 and included competitors from Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. The festival is slowly growing in popularity and is beginning to attract the attention of balloonists from more distant nations.

Here are a few photos from past Velikie Luki International Balloon Meets.